In May 2012, the plaintiff, Maryann Vichlenski (“plaintiff”), presented to the emergency department of the defendant Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center (“hospital”) complaining of pain and numbness in her left foot. The injured plaintiff was seen by the defendant Adam Schwartz, a resident, and then by the defendant Sanford Glantz, an emergency medicine doctor employed by the hospital. Since no pulses could be detected in the plaintiff’s left foot, she was prescribed medication, and a CT angiogram and a consultation with a vascular surgeon were ordered. Although the injured plaintiff was seen in the emergency department by a vascular surgeon—the defendant Garri Pasklinsky—the CT angiogram was canceled, allegedly by Glantz.
Pasklinsky, upon examining the injured plaintiff, found no evidence of acute limb threatening ischemia or other acute vascular surgical issues. He cleared the injured plaintiff to be discharged, and directed her to follow up with him the next day. However, when the injured plaintiff’s husband called Pasklinsky’s office the following day to schedule an appointment, the injured plaintiff allegedly was refused an appointment because she did not have health insurance. The injured plaintiff was later seen by a different vascular surgeon, who found no pulses in her left foot, and diagnosed her with gangrene. In August 2012, after unsuccessful treatment and therapy, the injured plaintiff’s left leg was amputated below the knee.
The injured plaintiff, and her husband suing derivatively, filed their New York medical malpractice lawsuit to recover damages for medical malpractice against Glantz, the hospital, and Pasklinsky and his employer, Great South Bay Surgical Associates and Vascular Lab, LLP. Glantz, the hospital, and the Pasklinsky defendants separately moved for summary judgment dismissing the first and third causes of action that alleged medical malpractice and a derivative claim. The trial court denied the summary judgment motions, and the defendants appealed.
The Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department (“New York Appellate Court”) held in its Decision & Order dated January 12, 2022: “Here, in opposition to the prima facie showing by Glantz, the plaintiffs raised triable issues of fact on their first and third causes of action. In particular, in response to the conclusion of Glantz’s expert that it was appropriate to cancel the CT angiogram, as the pulses had returned to the injured plaintiff’s left foot, the plaintiffs’ expert opined that the CT angiogram should not have been canceled because the return of pulses did not rule out the possibility of ischemic limb loss. The plaintiff’s expert explained that a condition known as vasospasm can cause the symptoms of arterial occlusion to wax and wane. Contrary to Glantz’s contention, the plaintiffs’ expert, who practiced in the areas of general surgery and vascular surgery, was qualified to refute the opinion of Glantz’s expert that a CT angiogram became unnecessary after the return of pulses to the injured plaintiff’s left foot. As this opinion of Glantz’s expert concerned an issue of vascular medicine, the plaintiffs’ expert was “‘possessed of the requisite skill, training, education, knowledge or experience from which it can be assumed that the information imparted or the opinion rendered is reliable’”.”
“The plaintiffs also raised triable issues of fact in opposition to the prima facie showing of the Pasklinsky defendants. Specifically, the plaintiffs’ expert opined in nonconclusory fashion that Pasklinsky departed from the standard of care by discharging the plaintiff before determining the cause of the circulation problems in the plaintiff’s left foot, and by failing to see the plaintiff for a follow-up exam. The expert also offered a nonconclusory opinion that Pasklinsky’s failure to further investigate the condition of the injured plaintiff’s left foot and to follow-up with her diminished her chances of avoiding amputation by causing a delay in her diagnosis and treatment during which time her left foot was not receiving adequate oxygenation.”
The New York Appellate Court therefore held: “the Supreme Court properly denied those branches of the separate motions of Glantz, the hospital, and the Pasklinsky defendants which were for summary judgment dismissing the first and third causes of action insofar as asserted against each of them.”
Source Vichlenski v. Adam Schwartz, 2018-09437.
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